New research by University of Canterbury (UC) psychologists shows that minerals and vitamins help to reduce cigarette consumption and promote successful quitting.
This study is the first known randomised controlled trial investigating the impact of a mineral-vitamin formula for smoking cessation and reduction of cigarette use.
This study by UC Psychology doctoral student Phillipa Reihana, Professor Neville Blampied, and Professor Julia Rucklidge, of UC Psychology in the College of Science, published recently in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, supports the use of micronutrients (minerals and vitamins) as a safe, readily available option to promote successful quitting and reduced cigarette use.
The UC researchers believe that micronutrients are comparable to other smoking cessation treatments (e.g., drugs of various kinds) but with fewer side effects, with 28% of the micronutrient group achieving abstinence for 12 weeks versus 18% of the placebo group.
“Micronutrients are being increasingly studied for the treatment of psychiatric conditions, but directly using micronutrients as a treatment for addictions is novel,” Mrs Reihana says.
“There is extensive evidence that micronutrients alleviate stress. Given that tobacco smoking is often used to cope with stress, taking micronutrients may moderate the stress of withdrawal and increase the chance of a successful quit attempt.”
Furthermore, those taking micronutrients reported reduced consumption of cigarettes per day, notably in the four weeks prior to quitting (when participants attempted to cut down) and at four weeks after their quit date.
The researchers conclude that the study supports the use of micronutrients as a safe, readily available option to take before and during a quit attempt to potentially increase the likelihood of success.